Values are powerful determinants of human accomplishment, progress, fulfilment, and evolution. People often dedicate their entire lives or even give up their lives to pursue their cherished values. The virtues that determine our decisions and guide our lives are already within us,. It only depends on how much we recognize, value and use them. The Brahma Kumaris have always aspired to inculcate the elevated values and qualities in man’s daily life, so that he is not only free from suffering and anxiety but also empowered to lend virtues and spiritual learning to the people and atmosphere around him.
It was with this higher goal of human existence that the Brahma Kumaris targeted formal education in schools and colleges, so that education not just prepares us to acquire skills and earn livelihood but sharpens our inner qualities and virtues that make us a better human being with embellishments of cordiality, sociability, generosity, peace, happiness, purity, divinity, etc. In the year 2009, the Brahma Kumaris and the Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar (TN) signed an MoU to start academic courses of Value Education & Spirituality. This one year course called Post-Graduate Diploma in Value Education & Spirituality is in the distance education stream and can be pursued by students of India and Nepal. Gradually other courses and universities followed. Now the Brahma Kumaris have MoUs of Value Education courses with 16 universities and 6 autonomous colleges of the country.
Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya and its sister organisation Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation (Education Wing) in technical collaboration with Annamalai University, in association with the Jail authorities.
About 51 prisoners were awarded Diploma, PG Diploma and MSc Certificates in “Value Education and Spirituality”. These courses were offered free of cost with the help and teachings by Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation (Education Wing). Prisoners from about 14 jails in the Gujarat State (Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodra, Palanpur, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Mehsana, Ahmednagar etc.) took admission in these courses. These programs are being offered for the last 3 years and have proved quite successful.
The Universities having collaboration with the Brahma Kumaris
Rajyoga Education and Consciousness Improvement Programme for Educators (RECIPE), is the concept that gives a new turn to educational learning and application. Initiated in 2016, the course aims at training the teachers of Value Education courses and helps the new learners not only to acquire the values but also the specific skill of how to impart these values and virtues to others. RECIPE has six different subjects: Basic Rajyoga Course; Exploring Values; Environmental Awareness; Holistic Health; Excellence in Life; and Experiencing Meditation
SWAYAM is a free online education programme initiated by the Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., Access, Equity, and Quality. SWAYAM platform is indigenously developed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
An MoU was signed between AICTE and Education Wing (RERF) in December 2017 to develop 7 online meditation courses with an aim to provide the best online learning experience of the spiritual aspects. The main objectives of this collaboration are to propagate and encourage the study and practice of principles of truth, non-violence, spiritual love, and divine virtues and the eradication of ignorance, superstitions, and other social evils.
As per the collaboration, the following courses will be available on the SWAYAM portal.1. Basic Meditation Course; 2. Memory Management; 3. Overcoming Anger and Stress; 4. Harmony in Relationships 5. Spiritual Lifestyle for Holistic Health; 6. Core Values for Professional Excellence; 7. Spiritual Solutions for Environmental Crisis
An MoU was signed between AICTE and Education Wing (RERF) in December 2017 to develop 7 online meditation courses with an aim to provide the best online experience learning of the spiritual aspects. The main objectives of this collaboration are to propagate and encourage the study of principles of truth, non-violence, spiritual love, and divine virtues and the eradication of ignorance, superstitions, and other social evils.
The human character undergoes a change almost every day, but the most crucial period of his life is the adolescent age when he is no longer a child but is also not accepted as a grown-up. He shuttles almost like the pendulum of a wall-clock or the shuttle cock in a game of badminton between the two extremes and both ways he gets censured and pushed away.
Established in 2017 in Varanasi District, Divine Sanskarshala has been working for five years in collaboration with the Education Wing of Brahmakumaris to provide free education to underprivileged children, promoting literacy and better development. Divine Sanskarshala’s primary goal is to improve the lives of these under-privileged children by providing them free daily meals, access to education, and skill development. Over the course of five years, Divine Sanskarshala has covered five slum areas and assisted thousands of children and their families in their upliftment.
Thought Lab is a novel concept to empower individuals to create pure, positive, powerful, and creative thoughts. It is a unique project aimed at harnessing the hidden and still untapped inner power of extra-ordinary resource of thoughts and to provide a solid foundation for improving the emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of their families, community, and society in which they live and interact.
Thought Lab has been designed to include the techniques of Rajyoga meditation, positive thinking, reflection, self-realization, and God-realization so that individuals are enabled to go deep within their inner world of thoughts, emotions, and feelings; fight the dragons of their negatives and vicious tendencies, and finally come out victorious. It aims at helping the individuals to decide, on their own, what is really right and what is wrong, and thereby enable them to take up personal responsibility for their self-change and transformation.
The research paper has been published in Springer. Paper titled “A Comparative study of mindfulness between meditators and non-meditators” published in Third International Congress on information and Communication Technology, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 797.
The first Thought Lab was inaugurated at JECRC, Jaipur on 6th October 2016. It has helped both the members of the staff and students coming from a varied section of society. Thought Lab has helped in changing their thought pattern with a positive result on their mental and physical health. The technique uses meditation and devotional songs, guided meditation, cognitive games, and psychological tools to create positive thought patterns. On April 20, 2018, one more Thought Lab came up in the North Cap University, Gurgaon. The success of these involves has motivated many more educational insertions to establish Thought Labs at their respective campus.
We all are conscious of the fact that our women-folk have often been ignored in essential matters of family life, education, and even their own future course of life. It was in 1983 when the Brahma Kumaris realized the need and undertook the responsibility of showing the path to positively and constructively utilize the girls’ potential of head and heart for the social uplift. In 1983, the Brahma Kumaris started at Indore (Madhya Pradesh) ‘Shakti Niketan’ a hostel for girls. Its very successful and encouraging results in grooming the girls into responsible and principled personalities persuaded the organization to start another similar hostel for girls at Nadiad in Gujarat in 1989. It is a matter of pride that both these landmarks are functioning like ideal institutes not just in education but in holistic personality development for the girl-child.
“7 Billion Acts of Goodness: Returning to Who We Are”, is an initiative designed to exponentially increase expressions of benevolence in the world. It is a movement based on the spiritual truth that goodness is innate, and that by cultivating a spiritual awareness of the self, we can tap into this inherent goodness in a way that makes us capable of generating unlimited acts of goodness. Our goal is to embark on a journey together to re-discover this truth and create a global culture of care and compassion.
This initiative has been inspired by the body of knowledge taught by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization
Goodness = benevolence, which is literally good will. We develop our capacity of good will through expressing good wishes towards ourselves and others; as much as possible. And the first and foremost good wish is one we have for the self, one that acknowledges our true identity – that I am a spiritual being. An Act of Goodness (AOG) does not have to be a heroic act. A simple shift in our awareness above and beyond the limited perspectives can transform an ordinary act into one that can uplift and inspire others to perform good deeds.
This initiative gives us access to our innate goodness in a way that is sustainable and independent of what is going on around us. As we face increasing turmoil and uncertainty in the world, maintaining a cool head and an open heart is becoming more and more challenging. This is about meeting the overwhelming stress, sorrow and violence with an exponential, ripple effect of care and compassion. People are aware of what a good act is, are already acting with love and kindness, and would ultimately like all their actions to be good. But without the strength that comes from a foundation of spirituality, their actions can be colored by dependencies, attachments, desires and expectations, leading to frustration, resentment, being overwhelmed and complete burn out! And usually the ones who are caring for others consistently neglect themselves. They are looking for guidance. They need spiritual power. And we need to be the examples.
7 billion serves to underscore the fact that, ultimately, it isn’t about numbers or even about performing 7 billion acts, but rather, how spirituality makes us capable of expressing goodness so that it touches 7 billion souls. That, as spiritual beings, we have the capacity to positively impact countless others with the quality of energy and vibrations we generate by holding a spiritual awareness of ourselves.
AOG uses an inside-out approach, which recognizes that what we do is important, but how we do it is essential. To support this approach, we will be inviting people to reconnect with their inner goodness, using three access points: Awareness, Attitude and Action.
Awareness: A state of being aware of and experiencing, that “I” am intrinsically good. It all starts and ends here. What if one AOG could automatically generate countless others? By changing our awareness to a spiritual one that goes far beyond race, gender, age, language, culture, religion, etc., we are tapping into an unlimited potential to instantly transform and elevate our attitude, vision, thoughts, words and actions.
Attitude: It is a state of mind resulting from the awareness of the self we are holding, which determines our thoughts, feelings and perceptions about everyone and everything. Holding an attitude of unconditional and benevolent feelings allows us to experience goodness in everything we do.
Action: Includes any form of expression; from the physical actions we perform through our bodies, to more subtle ones, like the way we see each other, or the thoughts we have. When we comfort or give happiness to someone, it bounces back and fills us with internal happiness. Good actions make us feel good about ourselves, and an elevated awareness and attitude ensures that the impact of those actions is good.